Early Tuesday morning, an Egged bus on its way to Eilat was stoned by Bedouins, near the town of Nevatim. No injuries were reported, but the bus itself was damaged.
A statement issued by the Egged bus company suggested that the culprits were Bedouins who have recently been attacking buses on a regular basis in the northern Negev, for nationalistic reasons.
“We call on police and security forces to take steps to ensure the safety of public transportation in the Negev,” an Egged spokesperson said.
Responding to the incident, the Union of Bus Drivers issued a statement saying that, “Bus drivers must be recognized as public servants if their lives and the lives of the passengers they transport are to be accorded protection – only if this happens will those responsible for attacking buses be arrested and placed behind bars. The authorities should be dealing with this problem. This serious incident could have ended with multiple fatalities; it was only the resourcefulness of the driver in this instance that averted tragedy.
“Our buses are a symbol of coexistence, and that is why they and their drivers are being attacked,” the Union continued. “This terrorism against bus drivers and their vehicles must be stopped.”